Anti-POSCO agitators release ten labourers, a driver

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Jagatsinghpur, Oct 15 (UNI) After being detained for five days in Dhinkia village, ten labourers and a driver were finally released by the anti-POSCO agitators this afternoon.

The labourers were freed by the anti-POSCO activists after the officials of the Rural Development Department gave a written undertaking not to construct a wooden bridge inside the area proposed for setting up mega steel plant by south Korea steel major POSCO.

The anti-POSCO agitators under the banner of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samittee(PPSS) had been resorting to violent agitation preventing both government and POSCO officials into their area for over the past two years ever since the POSCO had signed an MoU with the Orissa government to set up a 12 million ton steel plant at an estimated cost of Rs 51,000 crore, considered to be the largest FDI in the country.

PPSS president Abhya Sahu told newsmen that the labourers were detained on last Thursday after they arrived in a van to construct a wooden bridge under the Rural Development Department at Balimara village on the Hadua river.

Besides the Rural development department, a Cuttack-based legal practitioner on behalf of the contractor of the bridge construction, the Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of police and the officer-in-charge of Kujanga police station also negotiated with the anti-POSCO activists for the release of the labourers.

Mr Sahu said the detained laboureers were provided with food and water by the villagers during the past five days on a humanitarian grounds, adding, '' Our fight is against the government officials and the POSCO officials, not the common man. '' '' The workers were detained as we wanted the officials of the RD department to come to our village and give an undertaking that the bridge construction work would not be taken up inside the proposed POSCO site, '' he added.

The PPSS alleged that the construction of the wooden bridge over the Hadua river would facilitate the government officials and POSCO to have an easy access to the Dhinkia village as the villagers had erected several check gates preventing their entry into the POSCO site.

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